Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chicago Race Preview

No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion

• Allmendinger has made three starts at Chicagoland Speedway
• Allmendinger enters Chicago in 13th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings
• Allmendinger’s best finishes (13th) at the 1.5-mile track came in 2008 and 2009

Allmendinger on Chicagoland Speedway: “Chicago is not the typical 1.5-mile track like Texas or Charlotte, it’s more like a Kansas shaped race track with a D-shaped back straightaway, so it makes for a little bit of a different setup for us. Overall I’ve been average at Chicago; I’ve finished either 13th or 14th each time I’ve run there. This will be the second 1.5-mile track for Greg (Erwin) and I to work together on. We ran well at Atlanta and I’m looking forward to working with him this weekend to see if I can get better at these intermediate tracks and learn some things from Greg. I’m excited about going to Chicago. We’ve had Top-12 finishes in the past five consecutive races and I’m looking forward to keeping that streak alive this weekend and putting the Best Buy Ford in Victory Lane.”

Crew Chief Greg Erwin’s Thoughts on Racing at Chicago: “I like going to Chicago. Now that the Chase is over for us, we can just focus on going out and getting the ‘W’ each weekend. We’ve had five straight weeks of Top-12 finishes and I’m excited for the last 10 races of the season. I know that we are going to get to Victory Lane one way or another and why not start in Chicago?

"AJ has run well in the past at Chicagoland even though it is one of the more difficult 1.5-mile tracks we go to. The track is pretty bumpy and our cars haven’t done quite as well with some of the setups we have tried to run at tracks with rough racing surfaces this year. We are really going to have to focus on coming up with a setup for the Best buy Ford that will give us a good option on making the front end work well in the corners this weekend.”

Erwin on Working with Allmendinger: “I’ve really enjoyed working with AJ the past couple months. He listens well and is really trying to make himself better and better as a driver each weekend. AJ is like a sponge. He soaks up all the information we give him. He has been studying films and in-car camera angles of past races and is doing a great job of learning from those films and applying what he learns each week at the race track.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team has prepared chassis No. 783 for this weekend’s event at Chicagoland Speedway. This Best Buy Ford is a brand new car and has not been run previously this season.

Notes: Allmendinger has three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Chicagoland Speedway and has completed 100 percent of laps attempted (801) at the 1.5-mile track. He has an average finishing position of 13.3 at the Joliet, Ill. Speedway. Allmendinger enters Chicago in 13th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings.

Can’t get enough of AJ? The Dinger will be appearing at the Best Buy store in Orland Park, Ill. (15854 South La Grange Rd., Orland Park, Ill., 60462). The appearance is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 15, from 6-7 p.m. CT and is open to the public.

Allmendinger’s 11th place effort on Saturday at Richmond International Raceway marked his fifth consecutive Top-12 finish.

This weekend’s event at Chicagoland Speedway marks the first race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The Top-12 drivers in the point standings will vie for the series championship in the last 10 races of the season.

Don’t miss out on your chance to meet “The King!” Richard Petty will be signing autographs at the Goodguys WIX Filters Speedway Nationals at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sept. 17, from 2:30-4 p.m. at the WIX Filters booth located on the Midway.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

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